Do You Know: How Fast Can A Shark Swim? Cool Shark Facts For Kids

Chong Lhungdim
Aug 31, 2023 By Chong Lhungdim
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Caribbean reef shark swimming with school of jacks

A common question asked by many people is how fast a shark can swim.

They are ocean animals but they attack their prey like other animals on land. Therefore, they need to swim fast to catch their prey even in water.

Smaller sharks or streamlined species swim faster compared to larger bulkier sharks. An average speed a shark can swim at is 5 mph (8 kph) but still, they are found swimming at a slow speed around 1.5 mph (2.4 kph).

There are different shark species like the great white shark, mako shark, tiger shark, hammerhead shark and all of these sharks have their own swimming speed. Sharks are predators and swim much faster at a speed of 12 mph (20 kph) to attack their prey.

The shortfin mako is the fastest shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) found swimming at a speed of 31 mph (50 kph) also they can increase their speed up to 60 mph (96.5 kph). They are not completely cold blooded.

If you enjoyed this article, you can also visit these tiger shark facts and how fast can a human swim.

How fast can a great white shark swim in mph?

Among all the species of shark, the great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is known to have a top swimming speed of 25 mph (40 kph). Sharks also have short bursts of speed around 35 mph (56 kph) which is much faster than a human swimmer.

These sharks are fond of hunting humans in the world.

Great white sharks are very smart hunters and swimmers because they swim slowly in order to detect their prey to eat. At times, these white sharks have attacked human swimmers and the cameraman who have tried to capture them.

Scientists have said that white sharks also have blood vessels and are not completely cold blooded compared to mako sharks. They are mainly known for their hunting skills as they catch their prey by making smart and sudden moves.

There is a blue shark that has nearly the same speed and they swim at a speed of around 17.7 mph (28.4 kph) and is known to cover short bursts at 43 mph (69.2 kph).

How fast can a mako shark swim in mph?

The shortfin mako shark is the fastest shark in the ocean among all other sharks. They are streamlined sharks that swim at a speed of  60 mph (96.5 kph) which is one of the fastest speeds among the species of sharks.

Mako sharks can swim and even make giant leaps of up to 20 ft (6 m) in water. According to some researchers in New Zealand, the shortfin mako shark can travel 0-100 ft (0-30.4 m) in few seconds.

It is quite difficult for human swimmers to track and chase the fastest shark, the mako shark because they live far away from the shore. The great white shark and shortfin makos are not completely cold blooded and mako sharks also have blood vessels that help them to generate energy for considerable swimming speeds.

The great white shark is not as most agile as the mako shark (fastest shark), reaching speeds of up to 60 mph (96.5 kph) and has several killing qualities.

One time, these sharks chased a boat because the people in that boat were videoing them! Blue sharks (Prionace glauca) swim at a speed of 24.5 mph (39.4 kph). 70-80 mph (112.6-128.7 kph) is the fastest speed of a shark.

How fast can a tiger shark swim in mph?

Tiger sharks (Galecerdo cuvier) have a swimming speed of about 20 mph (32 kph) in the ocean. They are also good hunters because they have sharp teeth and a longfin to provide lift while they are moving in the water.

The long upper tail performs the tasks of providing bursts of speed. The shark's initial speed depends upon the size of fin and tail, as well as their hunger for prey, as they are also great swimmers compared to other species of sharks.

They have a smooth body. These sharks have a carnivorous diet including fish and other marine animals.

They are also large predators in the water with a length of 16.40 ft (5 m). They reside mainly around the Central Pacific Islands, and the name is derived from their body pattern as they have dark linings like a tiger.

They are mostly nighttime hunters and these sharks are able to eat the wastes made by humans in water. Despite this, they are dangerous to humans as they can reach fast swimming speeds and can chase and harm humans easily if they sense your presence or you start to harass them in the water.

How fast can a hammerhead shark swim in mph?

The hammerhead shark is also a fast swimmer. These sharks can reach swimming speeds of 24.6 mph (39.5 kph) but they have comparatively small bodies compared to other sharks and are less dangerous and harmful to people.

However, their fierceness makes them quite dangerous as there have been some incidents recorded by people who were videoing them for research purposes. If you ever try to go near any shark, for example when fishing, be aware that they will probably be able to outpace your boat.

These sharks are mostly found closer inshore at a surface depth of 1 m (3.3 ft). They can also swim at a depth of 80 m (260 ft ) offshore.

They are mostly found near coral reefs, island terraces, lagoons, and deep water near land. According to the international shark attack file, there have been some human attacks by hammerhead sharks that have been recorded, but they are not that dangerous or harmful to divers.

So far, hammerhead sharks have not been responsible for any fatal shark attacks, but they should be treated with respect and caution. These sharks reproduce underwater in oceans by sexual reproduction.

Males hold the female with their teeth, leaving some bite marks on the body of the female. Hammerhead sharks have a lifespan of around 20-30 years and have a carnivorous diet including fish, squids, and crustaceans.

Their body structure resembles a flattened hammer, with a shovel-shaped head. They consist of a special organ called ampullae, which are tissues known as electroreceptors as described by scientists since they are able to detect electric.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Do you know: how fast can a shark swim? Cool shark facts for kids then why not take a look at All about corn: how is popcorn made?

Amazing popping food facts to know, or What's the debate? Are strawberries a fruit? Or are they vegetables facts pages?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Chong Lhungdim

Bachelor's degree specializing in Economics, Master's degree specializing in Public Policy

Chong Lhungdim picture

Chong LhungdimBachelor's degree specializing in Economics, Master's degree specializing in Public Policy

With extensive knowledge in economics, public policy, and finance, Chong is a highly qualified professional with a Bachelor's degree in Economics St Andrew's College of Arts, Science and Commerce and a Postgraduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Mumbai. Her enthusiasm for research and content writing has led her to develop expertise in various fields of economic and public policy analysis. Chong has experience in research, data analysis, and producing high-quality content.

Read full bio >